Former municipal policymakers from left and right join Councillor Christine Boyle, sounding the alarm on critical underfunding of the Climate Emergency Action Plan (CEAP)
VANCOUVER (Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Territories) -
Councillor Christine Boyle today sounded the alarm on the critical underfunding of the Climate Emergency Action Plan (CEAP).
Passed on November 17, 2020, the CEAP created a roadmap for Vancouver to reduce our carbon pollution by 50% by 2030 - in line with the recommendations of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. And it includes big moves to improve air quality, road safety, and livability for Vancouver residents.
Vancouver has already felt the effects of the climate emergency, from heat domes to atmospheric rivers. In 2021, more than 100 Vancouverites died from devastating extreme heat.
Next Wednesday, City of Vancouver staff will present an annual update to the new Council on the CEAP, and the bad news is this: Vancouver isn’t on track to meet its own targets for reducing carbon pollution and improving health and safety for Vancouverites. The CEAP is presently experiencing a critical funding gap. Unless additional funding is found to bridge the gap, and existing actions are strengthened, the plan will fail, and Vancouver will miss its climate targets.
“In Vancouver, climate action has often been cross-partisan. Mayor Sim and ABC indicated support for climate action on the campaign trail. But without renewed commitment to the Climate Emergency Action Plan, their track record won’t match their promise,” said Christine Boyle, City Councillor, OneCity Vancouver. “Campaigning is one thing. Governing is another. I call on Mayor Sim and ABC to restore the CEAP’s funding - and ramp up climate action.”
This call to action goes beyond partisan politics. Joining Councillor Boyle in highlighting the need to strengthen local climate action are former City Councillors from parties across the political spectrum - Andrea Reimer, a former Vision Vancouver Councillor and former Green Party School Trustee, and Peter Ladner, a former Non-Partisan Association (NPA) councillor and an active transportation advocate.
Leading members of civil society, such as Dr. Melissa Lem, President of the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, and Gerard MacDonald, Green Building & Infrastructure expert, have also joined the call.
“If we are taking the climate crisis seriously, and taking our role as elected leaders during this crisis seriously, we know what needs to be done,” says Boyle, who has been leading climate action in the City of Vancouver for the past four years. “This new Council must commit to the big moves found in the Climate Emergency Action Plan - including near-term dates for getting gas out of buildings, reallocating road space to prioritize public and active transportation, and building walkable, mixed-income communities in every neighbourhood.”
A rally to save the Climate Emergency Action Plan is taking place on Friday, February 10th at City Hall from 2:30 to 4:30.
- “Vancouver is not just a leader in our region: it’s a leader in our country and has been a blueprint globally for green cities, attracting investment and jobs to the region. The big moves in the Climate Emergency Action Plan - like near-term dates for getting gas out of buildings and prioritizing public and active transportation - build on over two decades of cross-partisan climate action in Vancouver and represent a clear-eyed vision of what Canadian cities need to do if we are to meet our climate targets. By committing to the Plan, Mayor Sim and ABC can help secure a clean and sustainable world for future generations.”
Andrea Reimer, former Vision Vancouver Councillor and former Green Party School Trustee
“Increasing transit, cycling and walking in Vancouver is critical to achieving our climate goals and to making Vancouver a better place to live. Cities around the world have realized this and are stealing Vancouver's former green swagger status. More importantly, the Climate Emergency Action Plan active transportation measures provide Vancouver citizens with more mobility options, more affordable transportation costs, and a cleaner, healthier and safer city. Congestion that blocks cars and commercial vehicles can only be reduced by making transit and active transportation more attractive. Local streets filled with pedestrians and cyclists also bolster the local economy by delivering more customers to struggling retail stores and businesses along the routes.”
Peter Ladner, former City Councillor with the Non-Partisan Association
“CAPE’s mission is to protect human health by protecting the planet—and when it comes to health, the indoor environment is just as important as the outdoor one. Indoor air pollution from gas stoves, which often accompany gas heating, and road traffic, has been linked to poor health outcomes among children, including a significantly increased rate of asthma. The Climate Emergency Action Plan is key to building healthier indoor environments and a healthier climate at the same time. ABC needs to commit to it.”
Dr. Melissa Lem, President of Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment
- “If anything the city should be investing more - not less in climate action. It's not just about funding, it's also about strengthening policies to enable the energy transition at a pace and scale that will allow us to actually meet climate targets. Take existing buildings for example. We as a city can't meet our climate targets without reducing emissions from existing buildings. We know from decades of climate action that meaningful emissions reductions only happen with mandatory climate policies. Mandatory policies limit choice or impose a penalty for certain actions/in-action. Things like carbon taxes, regulating types of technology or network connections, fines on building emissions like those that are coming into effect in New York City in 2024. Right now in Vancouver we don't regulate emissions from existing buildings at all. There is an intention to, but a lot of the details of the policy still need to be confirmed. CEAP funding will allow the city to develop these policies. Without them we will miss our climate targets (again). These next few years of policy making are critical if we want to maintain a possibility that we'll hit our 2030 targets. Without adequate funding we as a city can't develop the policies. And without the policy we won't meet climate targets."
Gerard MacDonald, Green Building & Infrastructure leader and Principal at Reshape Strategies
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OneCity Vancouver communications committee